Enabling environment and support as determinant of quality in ECCD centres in Bhutan: An analysis of the findings of quality monitoring of ECCD centres in Bhutan
Quality in Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) centres is central to the effectiveness of programmes they provide but it is not limited to what early educators do with children on a daily basis emphasize that quality in early childhood education encompasses such facets as how engaging and safe the centre is, if there is a range of strategies and activities employed to make learning experiences meaningful, whether families and communities engage in the educational process, and if there is a systemic support from the larger community for the effective functioning of the centre. Recognizing the centrality of a holistic definition of early childhood education, the design of centres in Bhutan is founded on internationally accepted concepts and approaches that integrate critical aspects of quality learning environment. The Bhutan Quality Framework, with four specific domains and 29 indicators, define quality in terms of not just focusing on learning activities and strategies, but also encompassing child safety and well-being, quality of interaction and communication, and family and community involvement.
This paper is essentially a report on the state of ECCD centres across the country, generated on the basis of assessment carried out using the quality monitoring tool for ECCD centres. The paper highlights the status of ECCD centres in terms of quality of learning in general and analyzes the levels of attainment in each of the four domains of quality. The paper further specifies the state of quality in ECCD centres by districts and types of centres to illustrate their strengths and weaknesses in varying situations and environments. The paper analyses the key findings of the survey and provides a number of recommendations that could contribute to heightening quality of ECCD programmes by addressing shortfalls in the different aspects of quality in ECCD centres.